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CoE approves new Action Plan for Ukraine with record EUR50M budget

15.12.22 10:30
The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has adopted a record EUR50 million Action Plan for Ukraine for 2023-2026. That’s according to the CoE press service, Ukrinform reports.

“The Action Plan ‘Resilience, Recover and Reconstruction’ (2023-2026) has been developed in close consultation with the Ukrainian authorities. It is part of our Organisation’s contribution to the rebuilding process and recovery of the country, faced with the brutal aggression of the Russian Federation and immense destruction,” says CoE Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

The new Action Plan aims to heighten the resilience of public institutions through strengthening democratic governance and the rule of law, and protecting citizens’ human rights, she added.

The Plan also aims to support Ukraine’s European perspective reform agenda, following the decision by the European Council on 23 June 2022 to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine.

“The overall budget for the four-year co-operation framework is estimated at €50 million, making it the largest ever budget for a country-specific Council of Europe Action Plan,” the statement reads.

It is noted that the Council of Europe will work with the Ukrainian authorities to address their urgent needs and priorities including supporting the implementation of the steps outlined in the European Commission's opinion on Ukraine's membership application, notably in the areas of constitutional justice, combatting corruption and money-laundering; developing an independent, effective and trusted justice; promoting freedom of expression and freedom of media, strengthening protection of the rights of national minorities.

The measures laid down in the Plan will also contribute to the process of documenting gross human rights violations and better protecting the rights of internally displaced persons and people whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by war.

In addition, part of the Action Plan is about the protection of children's rights in the context of war and in the post-war period it, as well as support for the creation of decent social protection for the war-affected population.

Among other important areas reflected in the Action Plan is the promotion of gender equality and fight against violence against women and girls, including displaced persons and those who have returned to Ukraine.

It is also noted that the Action Plan will be accompanied by significant activities by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). “The CEB will provide a relevant contribution by part-financing investment projects in Ukraine with high social added value, aimed at improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups,” the report says.

The Council of Europe action will coordinate closely with other organizations, in particular the EU, UN and OSCE, as well as bilateral donors.

According to Pejčinović Burić, the Council of Europe remains firmly committed to supporting and assisting Ukraine, which will be one of the main issues on the agenda of the upcoming Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, which will be held in Reykjavík next May.

As reported earlier, the fourth summit of heads of state and government of the Council of Europe will take place in Reykjavik (Iceland) on May 16-17. The decision to convene the summit follows a report presented by the High Level Panel in October, which put forward 30 recommendations for the Council of Europe to respond effectively to the challenges of the war in Ukraine by doubling investment in promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.